Saturday, January 27, 2007

Drink Your Dessert

Sometimes, after a long, long day, you want a little treat after dinner but you don't want ice cream and you don't want cookies and you definitely don't want tea or coffee. What you want is something sweet but not heavy, relaxing but not stupefying.

You want Moscato d'Asti--even if you don't realize it. Sweet, softly sparkling, and low alcohol (usually 7-8%) Moscato d'Asti can turn any day into a little bit of a celebration and provide you with the perfect excuse to sit and think things over at the end of the day. Even better, Moscatos (those from Asti and those made in an Asti style) are often great bargains. The problem is that some of them are terrible--sickly sweet rather than soft and aromatic as they should be.

The 2005 Bonny Doon Moscato d'Asti "Il Giocoliere" ($15, straight from Bonny Doon) is a wonderful example of how good this wine can be. When you first open it and pour, it is unbelievably frothy, but once you taste it the bubbles are soft and minor players in the wine. Of much greater significance are the aromas--peach, orange blossom, spring flowers, jasmine. It's a whole garden right in your glass. Flavors of peach, honey, and melon follow. This is less a wine to have with dessert than it is a wine to have for dessert. But if you must have something, think simple: a peach, some sliced apples, or an almond biscotti.

Though this wine is marketed under the Bonny Doon label, it is made from Piedmonte grapes by the Cavellero brothers in a little village called Vesime. More expensive than some wines of this type, its lovely balance and complexity ensures that it is still a wine with very good QPR.


farley said...

Thank you for reminding me that I have this very bottle at home...
I love Moscato d'Asti for the reasons that you stated. It's a perfect choice when you want something with just a little fizz, and a little bit of sweet.

Dr. Debs said...

Enjoy, Farley! I think you'll like it, and let me know by leaving a post here or on your blog with your reactions to the wine.

Joe said...

You are right on - I never order dessert now! Passito at the Italian resto and Sauternes at the French resto, Port as well! Haven't had Moscato in a while, but I used to buy (and gift) the Michele Chiarlo Nivole quite frequently - nice looking bottle in a handy 375mL format. Thanks for the reminder on this fun, under-rated, style of wine. (PS-the Chiarlo was quite good)

Dr. Debs said...

I like the Chiarlo, too. Perfect for two people. It's a bit more simple than this Bonny Doon, but delicious and widely available.